“I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”
Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1893 and died in Palma de Mallorca in 1983. Miró left behind an important legacy, and is regarded amongst the most original artists of the 20th century. His work, in general, has been interpreted as Surrealism, and the realm of the memory and imaginative fantasy were to take priority.
Miró studied at La Lonja School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and in 1918 set up his first individual exhibition at the Dalmau Galleries, in the same city. His works before 1920 reflect the influence of different trends, like the pure and brilliant colors used in Fauvism, shapes taken from cubism, and influences from folkloric Catalan art and Roman frescos from the churches.
While visiting Paris, Miró was introduced to and developed his trend of surrealist painting. In 1921, he showed his first individual exhibition in Paris, at La Licorne Gallery. In 1928, he exhibited with a group of surrealists in the Pierre Gallery, also in Paris, although Miró always maintained his independent qualities with respect to groups and ideologies.
From 1929–1930, Miró began to take an interest in collages. This was a practice that was to lead to him to creating surrealist sculptures. His “tormented monsters” appeared during this decade, which gave way to the consolidation of his plastic vocabulary. He also experimented with many other artistic forms, such as engraving, lithography, watercolors, pastels, and painting over copper. What is particularly highlighted from this period, are the two ceramic murals that he made for the UNESCO building in Paris (The Wall of the Moon and the Wall of the Sun, 1957–59).
During this 1960s, Miró concentrated more and more on monumental and public works. He was characterized by the body language and freshness with which he carried out his canvases, as well as the special attention he paid to material and the stamp he received from informalism. He concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work.
In 1976 the Joan Miró Foundation Centre of Contemporary Art Study was officially opened in the city of Barcelona. In 1979, four years before his death, Miró was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona.
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